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Find your phone: Google’s new ‘Android Device Manager’ helps locate lost or stolen Droids

Whether you left it on the table in the pub or it’s just fallen down the back of the sofa again, the moment of realisation that you’re without your phone is quite a worrying one. Google has finally decided to launch an official solution to that very problem; Android Device Manager.

Launching later this month, Android Device Manager will allow those with an Android smartphone to locate their lost, stolen or misplaced devices using a number of helpful methods.

Android Device Manager can be accessed via the web browser of a PC or even another mobile device and uses GPS on your lost phone to locate it, showing its last known location in Google Maps. Once located, you can choose to ring the phone – ideal if it’s simply slipped down the back of the sofa or has fallen into the depths of that tardis-like handbag of yours.

If your phone has been stolen and you’re concerned about the thief getting hold of sensitive information stored on it, Android Device Manager allows you to remotely wipe your device. This feature relies on the phone having some sort of data connection – 3G or Wi-Fi – so it’s often a good idea to use this option sooner rather than later.

Those who use an iPhone will no doubt be familiar with this sort of service – Apple’s own Find My iPhone is very similar and offers pretty much the same set of features. Apple does also offer the option to send a message to the phone, for example showing the owner’s details, which is something we’d like to see Google add.

Android Device Manager will launch later this month and will work on devices running Android 2.2 and up. There will be an Android app available and of course the desktop site. You’ll also need to be signed in to a Google account on your phone in order for it to work.